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Urban Planning & Public Policy: Bibliographic Management Software


Citation Formats

Style Manuals

Unfortunately, LaTeX is not currently supported in any of the Bibliographic Management Software packages. The usual word processing programs such as MS Word is what is used.  There are many style manuals and conventions of different subject disciplines have adopted and use a citation style.  Most of Social Ecology uses the APA, Legal, or the Chicago Style Manuals which are all documented on the Citations Subject Guide.

Definition and Use of BMS

What is it ?

Bibliographic management software allows you to create and track references (aka citations) and to create bibliographies or reference lists formatted in the appropriate style, such as APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian. You can simultaneously import records from databases such as PubMed, PsycINFO and Web of Science in addition to many others. You can add abstracts, keywords and other functions that enhance and improve the efficiency of your project.  Additional information is found on the Bibliographic Management Software Guide.

How does bibliographic management software save time and how might I use it?

  • Create bibliographies and references almost instantaneously.
  • Reduce the likelihood of duplicate citations by removing them
  • Create your own critical abstracts, which is part of the the production of your work.
  • Re-use or repurpose your own content over time.
  • Search and organize your own database of references according to how you would use them.
  • Embed footnotes, endnotes and within text citations.

What it won't do

  • It will not create a perfect bibliography or reference list according to your favorite style. For example, you will still have to know APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian.
  • It will not correct errors or omissions that were in the database from which you retrieved references.
  • It will not always know what type of material you are putting into it from a database (e.g. it cannot always distinguish a proceeding from a book).
  • At this time, no bibligraphic management software handles legal citation formats.


General Information

Endnote RefWorks Zotero Mendeley
Type Desktop Client Web-based Desktop software and browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Desktop software and web-based. Works with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
Tutorials Endnote Training Refworks Tutorial
Zotero Tutorial Mendeley Tutorial
Cost Currently the Libraries provide access to one licensed copy of EndNote version X2 in the Multimedia Resources Center (MRC) and in the Grunigen Medical Library at the UCI Medical Center. Due to licensing restrictions, Endnote X2 is only available to UC Irvine students, faculty, and staff. For off campus use of EndNote, students, faculty and staff should buy a copy of the EndNote software at the UC Irvine Computer Store. There is no remote access to the Libraries' copies. A 12-month subscription to RefWorks is available for $100 / year. 
Free (Open Source) with 100 MB of storage.  Upgrades available for a monthly fee. Free with 1GB of web space (500 MB personal & 500 MB shared.) Upgrades available for a monthly fee.

How It Works

Endnote RefWorks Zotero Mendeley
How it works

Export references from compatible databases.

Export references from compatible databases. Zotero identifies when you are looking at an item and will show an icon in the URL bar.  Click the icon to add the item to your references. Export references from compatible databases.
Learning Curve Higher Learning curve Fairly quick to learn Quick to learn, very simple design Quick to learn, simple design
  • Numerous output styles     
  • Highly customizable
  • Can handle a large amount of references
  • Good for major research projects because it has the most options for customization and formatting
  •  Excellent for organizing citation
  • Can share citations
  • Good for organizing papers
  • Web based
  • Download of records is easy
  • Good for managing a variety of formats, including webpages
  • Downloads records for some databases that don’t work with Endnote and RefWorks such as Factiva
  • Manage PDFs
  • Share citations and documents
  • Social aspect, see what others are reading or citing
  • Pulls metadata from PDFs

Other BMS Software

Liaison Librarian

Julia Gelfand's picture
Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971